Saturday, 31 December 2016

Listening to The Minstrel of the Dawn by Gordon Lightfoot while painting a Blue jay on wood

This is one of the Blue jays that visits our backyard!

This is my first painting for the year 2017, 
my second painting on wood 
(the first was The Birth of Jesus)

The Minstrel of the Dawn is a song from Gordon Lightfoot's 1970 album Sit Down Young Stranger which was later renamed to If You Could Read my Mind. 
(I've been listening to Gordon Lightfoot since the '70's 
and his music plays a vital part in my paintings!)

11"x14" oil painting on wood

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

“We Are Not Afraid”- Majek Fashek

We Are Not Afraid is written and performed by Majek Fashek.

This video features 150+ stars including Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Sting, Mark Knopfler, Ian Anderson, Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr,  ....

Read more here

Thursday, 22 December 2016

The cardinals are here to wish us a very happy first day of winter!


Over the years I have noticed how people tend to not celebrate Christmas because they are reminded of things that someone said or did to hurt them. 

First of all Christmas is not about you and me, but about Jesus!

When you truly love someone, it is very easy to forgive them and forget any of their wrongdoings to you. Just like a mother would forgive her child, or a child would forgive an aging parent. 
True love is unconditional. 
Therefore a lack of forgiveness must mean the absence of true love. 

It is the characteristic of some people not to ever forget. 
They tend to bring up old stories and remind you after several years. 
(Thankfully GOD has blessed me with the right amount of forgetfulness)  

So how do you deal with such people? 
Forgive them, pray for them, and keep a safe distance from them.

Never allow negative people to disrupt your Joy. 

Remember, the darkness of evil never has and never will extinguish GOD's light

And rather than curse the darkness by criticizing, bringing up negativity etc. 
light a candle and be the light!

Christmas is a time to show that kind of love and forgiveness.

If you are reading this, may you be blessed by HIM, 
And may you experience true Joy and Peace this Christmas Season!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

December Dove

When it's -20 degrees C, the December dove prefers to sit in its plate and eat, 
rather than sit in the cold snow!

Just dug up a foot of snow to feed the birds, and they are happy

Friday, 16 December 2016

Listening to Songs from the Wood (Jethro Tull) while painting Deer at Mukurthi

Mukurthi is a place I have visited almost thirty years ago in India, 
long before it became a National Park. 

In those days when I went hiking, I saw lots of wildlife including the Nilgiri Tahr locally known as Ibex, saw a Black panther once (some call it a leopard), herds of bison (known as Gaur in India), dholes that have followed me, and Sambar deer. I've also encountered wild boar, which was scary!

Today Mukurthi is a National Park and also a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you need permission to visit.

This is a painting of a deer at the edge of Mukurthi Lake from a photograph I took in the '80's

Mukurthi Peak in the background is about 8,300 feet, and one of my favourite hikes!

The music of Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) has always had a tremendous influence on me while painting such themes.
This is Songs from the Wood from the 1977 album by the same name

24" x 36" oil painting on canvas
is also available as a high resolution print

Tuesday, 13 December 2016


"It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving" - Mother Teresa

Monday, 12 December 2016

Winter Moonrise

As the sun sets in the West, look East, beyond the snow-laden trees, 
and snow-covered rooftops of Mississauga, 
and you'll see the winter moon rising into the pink December sky

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Winter Walk

Feels like -12 degrees C, with a little snow on the ground
Love December sunsets!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Thursday, 27 October 2016

"The story of Western Civilization in 6 minutes" - Don Henley

One of my favourite songs by The Eagles just about summarizes the times we are living in.
It's about how man destroys the environment.

In the words of Don Henley it's

"The story of Western Civilization in 6 minutes"


"You can leave it all behind,
And sail to Lāhainā ....
We satisfy our endless needs,
And justify our bloody deeds,
In the name of destiny,
In the name of GOD"
Lyrics by Don Henley and Glenn Frey

Get The Last Resort by The Eagles on iTunes

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Hava Nagila

Let us rejoice and be happy!
Love this version of Hava Nagila by Rika Zaraï 

Here's the version by Harry Belafonte
The lyrics and translation are here

Friday, 14 October 2016

"What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?" - Jesus

What is the soul?
Perfect explanation by Dallas Willard and John Ortberg of the soul ,
and how it integrates the will, mind and body

"Hurry is the great enemy of our souls in our day" - Dallas Willard
For a more detailed version of Soul Keeping by John Ortberg at Willow Creek, follow this link.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Replacing the camera lens cover on a Samsung Galaxy S5

When the camera lens cover shattered on my daughters phone, I figured I could fix it.
Remove the rear cover of the phone.
Remove the metal ring that holds the lens cover in place.

The glass/plastic cover was completely shattered so I had to make sure no broken pieces fell on to the camera

After removing the debris ...

Make sure that the phone is well protected from moisture and dust
by taping up with a temporary cover till you get a new lens cover.
Ordered a new replacement lens cover and bezel ... 

... which arrived in the mail in less than five days,
and cost me less than $8/- delivered at home!

Replaced the parts

All fixed and ready to take photos again!

From a design perspective, I don't like how the camera lens cover projects out on the Samsung.
This makes it easily prone to damage.
Which is why I prefer my Sony Z1
Check this video


Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Replacing spark plugs in the Audi A4

At 167,000 kilometres the engine light came on in the Audi A4, and I couldn't get an appointment with the Audi dealer, so I decided to troubleshoot and fix the problem myself!
Tightened a loose bolt near the electrical harness
Decided to replace spark plugs, and also use a complete fuel system cleaner

After removing the two small screws that hold the harness, the electrical connector must be gently released from the coil without breaking the tabs
(see this post for more detailed images in the Audi A3)

Lift the ignition coils out of the cylinder head 

Remove and replace the spark plugs 

Dirty petrol and a fuel cap that isn't shut properly can also cause the engine light to come on

From my experience, I think Shell has cleaner petrol (gasoline) than Esso!
For more detailed images, see how I replaced spark plugs in the Audi A3
Happy driving!

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Just saw four Coyotes (or maybe Coywolves) on my evening walk!

They must have been about half a kilometer away.
All looked like adults

Wish I had my other lens and tripod!
There's one sitting down in the center.

Here is one I saw last year on the same route

Monday, 29 August 2016

What the Hawk did next

While I was waiting for the hummingbird to arrive on the birdfeeder,
I briefly turned towards the tree nearby,
and hidden quietly among the branches was this large hawk!
Must have been about 18 to 20 inches tall.

It was hiding, and trying not to make eye contact with me
But I stared straight into its eyes!
Then it noticed my presence

And it was also eyeing the dove on the branch behind it
(see silhouette below)

The hummingbird arrived,
and then the hawk turned its attention towards it, jut a few feet below.
Would I allow this large bird of prey to catch the pretty, frail hummingbird right before my eyes?
Well, probably not.
(Last year we saw a smaller hawk swoop down and catch a helpless cardinal. Sad ...)

But I would also not harm the hawk. I'd rather allow nature to have its way.
GOD is the creator of all creatures great and small,
and HE is in control of everything that happens,
whatever we see as good and bad

The hawk kept darting its gaze towards the dove, the hummingbird, me, a nearby cardinal,
and lots of other birds as if it was deciding which to catch.
Armed with four types of colour receptors, the hawk as exceptional eyesight,
and it is licensed to kill with its claws!

It gave me one last look,
was this the end ...?

And then, it turned around ...
As if it had lost interest in its pursuit ...

And in a flash it was gone!